Subject matter of the research

The commission is examining how the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMJ) has dealt with its own national socialist past. This is linked with the question of continuity in terms of personnel in the Ministry, i.e. how many staff members of the Ministry during its early years had been (active or passive) followers of the Nazis. Another subject of examination is whether, and if so how, substantive continuity was maintained as well; for example, to what extent national socialist legislation and judicial decisions were vacated in the post-war period, how the Ministry conducted itself with regard to the criminal prosecution of NS offenders, and for what reasons no measures were taken, for instance to compensate victims of the NS system of injustice.

Of course, an entire range of relevant topics emerge from this; Professors Goertemaker and Safferling have committed themselves to researching these themes along with an interdisciplinary team of staff members, historians and jurists. The current status of the specific projects is as follows.